From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishbrilliantbril‧liant /ˈbrɪljənt/ ●●● S2 W3 adjective 1 BRIGHTbright brilliant light or colour is very bright and strong She closed her eyes against the brilliant light. We sat outside in the brilliant sunshine. She was dressed in brilliant white.► see thesaurus at bright, colour2 GOOD ENOUGHclever extremely clever or skilful I think that’s a brilliant idea. a brilliant performance a brilliant young musician► see thesaurus at intelligent3 excellent British EnglishGOOD/EXCELLENT excellent The film was absolutely brilliant.► see thesaurus at goodGrammarIn this meaning, brilliant is not used with ‘very’. You say: We had an absolutely brilliant time. ✗Don’t say: We had a very brilliant time.4 SUCCESSFULsuccessful very successful He had a long and brilliant career. The project was a brilliant success. —brilliantly adverb The sun was shining brilliantly. The goalkeeper played brilliantly.
Examples from the Corpusbrilliant• "How was your trip?" "Absolutely brilliant!"• Have you seen her dance? She's absolutely brilliant.• The new series kicks off with brilliant action shots taken at SummerSlam, the record breaking Wembley event.• She's brilliant at handling difficult clients.• a brilliant blue sky• Richard Perle was a brilliant, brooding defense expert with strongly neoconservative leanings.• After a brilliant career at St Luke's Hospital she was given her own department.• a long and brilliant career• Best gross went to Eamon McCaul whose 74 was a brilliant effort in a difficult cross wind.• a brilliant historian• Joanna came up with a brilliant idea for a new book.• a brilliant idea• All of a sudden the stage was flooded with brilliant light.• the brilliant lights of the stadium• Being their son must have meant living constantly in the shadow of two brilliant luminaries.• A brilliant mathematician and a natural-born bomb-maker.• Fans of the novel claim that its stomach-turning violence is a brilliant metaphor for the 1980s culture of consumerism and self-gratification.• Call it foolhardy or brilliant or shocking or crazy.• Michael Horden gave a brilliant performance as King Lear.• The brilliant physicist Paul Dirac first put forward this theory back in 1990.• brilliant red and yellow flowers• a brilliant scientist• His true love, a brilliant student named Adrienne, died in her youth when she was struck by a car.• The decision to reorganize the company was a brilliant success.• A shaft of brilliant sunlight shone through the dusty attic window.• Suddenly, I looked up and saw a point of light that was more brilliant than any star I had ever seen.• Paganini was a brilliant violinist, famous for his technical skill in both playing and composing music.brilliant sunshine• Flanked by the two men, they walked down a wide marble staircase, and out into the brilliant sunshine.• When I left the Trowbridge house, I stood still, blinking in the brilliant sunshine.• But money and the recession were forgotten as I skied in the brilliant sunshine of Obergurgl just a few days before Christmas.• The brilliant sunshine seemed to be mocking her.brilliant idea• Last year, I had what in all due modesty I shall call a brilliant idea.• Many experts, however, reckoned they had the germ of a brilliant idea.• Then Pat and George had a brilliant idea.• When I awoke, though, I had a brilliant idea.• Their keen intellects and powerful personalities could spark off more than just brilliant ideas at times.• Nixon had some brilliant ideas, but he did not build the constituency necessary to carry them out.• But interspersed with these brilliant ideas have come some terrible errors.absolutely brilliant• Admit it - as scams go, this one is absolutely brilliant.• I've just bought Moby's album, Play-it's absolutely brilliant.• The fashion parade was absolutely brilliant.• The Heguy cousins were absolutely brilliant, and both played a wonderful game, scoring most of the goals between them!• And-guess what-it sounds absolutely brilliant. $ band pieces are impressive enough.brilliant success• He is in the winter of his years: august, sophisticated, clearly a brilliant success.• If the former, then the decision, after a nerve-testing time-lag, was a brilliant success.• Some are already in use, and have achieved brilliant success.• Since then Milton Keynes has been called a brilliant success, and a place with no heart or soul.• The concerto was a brilliant success for Barber and Browning.Origin brilliant (1600-1700) French present participle of briller “to shine”, from Italian brillare, probably from Latin beryllus; → BERYL